In my last post, I blogged about the High Court case of M1 and what was said about the duty of decision makers (and the AAT) to consider a “clearly articulated claim”. The question for the Full Federal Court in Knight v Minister for Immigration [2022] FCAFC 127  was effectively “how clearly” does a claim have to articulated?

Ms Knight is (another) New Zealander with a character cancellation problem who contended there was “another reason” to revoke her visa cancellation. She had been the victim of childhood sexual abuse in NZ.

In the AAT her submissions referred (fleetingly) to the applicant’s “childhood history and traumatic experiences” as “extra factors that would make it more difficult” for the applicant to set up a new life in New Zealand. In the Court her argument was that the Tribunal had failed to consider her claim that, if she were to be removed to New Zealand, she would suffer future trauma based on her previous sexual abuse at the Weymouth Girls Home.

The Minister acknowledged that issues about childhood sexual abuse had been raised in the AAT but said that the Applicant did not elaborate on them. The Full Court held that the applicant did not advance a substantial and clearly articulated claim that, if she were to return to New Zealand she would suffer future trauma based on her previous sexual abuse as a child. The Court found that the Tribunal did not fail to exercise its statutory review function by not addressing Ms Knight’s claim.

In some respects I see this decision as a bit harsh. One the other hand it demonstrates that you need to take a lot of care in considering how arguments are presented to the AAT.

Creative commons acknowledgment for the photograph.



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